Every Thanksgiving table since I can remember has had creamed spinach on it. I still have the hand-written recipe card from my aunt! I have slightly changed the ingredients to make it dairy and gluten free, but it has every bit of that creaminess and flavor that I love so much. It is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or any meal!
*Originally published 11/18, updated 10/19
When I was first testing this recipe, I used canned coconut as the base. It was delicious, but the coconut flavor still came through. Then I tried a mix of chicken broth and original flavor Nutpods and it was perfection. I am not exaggerating when I say that it tastes just like the version I had as a child!
To keep this recipe gluten free, I use tapioca flour as the thickener for the cream sauce. The key to keeping it from clumping is to make a 'slurry'. This just means that you mix the flour with a little room temp water before adding it to the hot liquid in the pan.
When we had this dish growing up, we didn't add crispy onions. It is delicious either way, but I love the texture that they add. I include instructions to make your own, but I recently found some gluten free & low carb fried onions. Anything that makes my life easier on Thanksgiving is a win in my book. I found them at my local Sprouts, but if you can't find them, the homemade ones are delicious! (use the homemade ones to keep this Whole30 compliant)
Holiday Tip: this is the perfect dish to make ahead of time. It reheats so easily in the microwave or oven and the flavor gets even better over time! I am all for anything that makes my life a little easier. Just leave off the onions until just before serving.
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Creamed Spinach with Bacon & Crispy Onions
- Place the blocks of frozen spinach in a medium saucepan with ¼ cup of water, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes, then break it up with a spoon. Cover again for another 5-7 minutes until done. Then strain out the liquidOnce it is cool enough to handle, place the spinach in cheesecloth or a thin tea towel and squeeze all the liquid out and set aside
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and chop and set asideRemove all but 1 Tbls of the bacon fat and add in the ghee, onion, garlic and seasonings. Cook for 3 minutes over medium/low heat while stirring so garlic doesn't burn
- Pour in the Nutpods and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. In a small bowl mix 2 Tbls of tapioca starch with 2 Tbls water and then pour into the pan. Let simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thick and creamy
- Turn the heat off and stir in the spinach and all but 2 Tbls of the bacon. Remove from heat
- In a separate skillet heat the avocado oil over medium/high heat. Toss the thinly sliced onions in the tapioca starch and salt and shake off the excess. Add them to the oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels
- Top the creamed spinach with crispy onions and remaining bacon